It’s NOT Bull – Istanbul Shish Kebab Buffet

Charleston has always been known for years as a place for seafood and the past decade for creative southern food/farm to table offerings.  Recently there have been several new international restaurants come to town – Mexican (Minero), French (Chez Nous, Rue de Jean), new Italian (Le Farfalle, Melfi’s), & Greek/Mediterranean (Stellas, Kairos)  One of the new emerging entries to the Charleston market is Istanbul Shish Kebab Buffet (halal), the first authentic Middle Eastern buffet, serving Turkish and Arabic cuisine in the area. 

The original location in Mt. Pleasant closed in the Spring of 2017 and reopened in North Charleston near the Tanger Outlet in late 2018, early 2019.  After reading a nice newspaper review, we decided to try it and were so glad we did.   We quickly found out the reasons why we would go back – an assortment of high-quality food at a very reasonable price.  While not an elaborate setting the service is adequate, friendly, and attentive.

Here are key characteristics why we have enjoyed Istanbul each time we visited (almost every other month in the past year) – 1) priced at about $10 for lunch/2 kebabs and under $15 for dinner/3 kebabs (+ cost of a beverage);  2) their location and plenty of parking are convenient; 3) diversity of salads, unique preparations, & tasty kebab options (shrimp, steak, falafel, chicken); & 4) it is something different to take visiting guests.

We each loved the high quality of Istanbul’s food preparation and vegetable variation.  All the kebabs were cooked just right and flavorful.  When the nearby coliseum, performing arts center, and outlet are crowded, the restaurant gets busy and the shorthanded staff impacts/lengthens the time to get refills or other service (lemons, extra napkins, etc.).  Overall, the addition of this international dining option for the Charleston area provides an excellent option to complement the normal seafood, home cooking, and BBQ staples in town!

Istanbul Shish Kabab Food/Service = Overall Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Plus+ – Food Quality/Abundant Choices for good price    

Needs Work- – Better table service

All the best in your food experiences

Gary Crossley